Native hunters in the jungles of Africa have a clever way of trapping monkeys. They slice a coconut in two; hollow it out, and in one half of the shell cut a hole just big enough for a monkey’s hand to pass through. Then they place an orange in the other coconut half before fastening together the two halves of the coconut shell. Finally, they secure the coconut to a tree with a rope, retreat into the jungle, and wait. Sooner or later, an unsuspecting monkey swings by, smells the delicious orange, and discovers its location inside the coconut. The monkey then slips his hand through the small hole; grasp the orange, and tries to pull it through the hole. Of course, the orange won’t come out; it’s too big for the hole. To no avail the persistent monkey continues to pull and pull, never realizing the danger he is in.
While the monkey struggles with the orange, the hunters simply stroll in and capture the monkey by throwing a net over him. As long as the monkey keeps his fist wrapped around the orange, the monkey is trapped. It’s too bad-the poor monkey could save its own life if it would let go of the orange. It rarely occurs to a monkey, however, that it can’t have both the orange and its freedom. That delicious orange becomes a deadly trap.
The world sets traps for you that are not unlike the monkey trap. You hear constantly that if you just have enough money, enough stuff, enough power, and enough prestige – then you’ll be happy. Under that illusion people spend their whole lives thinking you must have it all – the result, Satan throws a “net” over you, and you are his. Paul warned, “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Tim. 6:9-10).